A Baxter Family Christmas
By: Karen Kingsbury
Publisher: Howard Books
Publication Date: 10/25/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars Karen Kingsbury’s most beloved characters are back! From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes A Baxter Family Christmas, a life-changing story of love and hope featuring the Baxter family. Whether you’re meeting the Baxter family for the first time, or finding them all over again…A Baxter Family Christmas will leave fingerprints on your heart forever. Two years have passed since the terrible car accident that took the life of John Baxter’s daughter, Erin, her husband and three of their four daughters. Prompted by grief, and missing his daughter, John has invited a stranger for Christmas Eve dinner—Kendra Bryant, the transplant recipient who now has Erin’s heart. In light of their father’s idea, Ashley and her brother Luke don’t think it’s right. They want to protect their ten-year-old niece, Amy—the only surviving member of the accident. But John is determined and believes meeting this woman is something his deceased daughter would want. At the same time, Maddie West, the eighteen-year-old daughter of Brooke Baxter West, is praying for meaning this Christmas. Could she find it in a newfound friendship with a boy she never expected to see again? Maddie believes in miracles, especially at Christmastime, but this is a stretch even she can’t imagine. Meanwhile, Kendra Bryant has been struggling these past few years to find purpose in the tragedy that gave her a second chance. She believes the invitation to see the Baxters and witness their unwavering faith in God can instill peace and happiness back into her life. Heartwarming and touching, filled with love and redemption, A Baxter Family Christmas brings together two families in the aftermath of loss and in the midst of an unfolding love story, all with the help of one very special child.
A special thank you to Howard Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Christian author inspirational storyteller, Karen Kingsbury delivers a special heart-warming holiday tale, A BAXTER FAMILY CHRISTMAS, with a new series (three more, to come) with familiar faces and voices of this much-loved family. A special holiday story offering faith, love, and hope; in the least expected places and persons; with some special yummy holiday recipes and fun Baxter family games. For all the Kingsbury (Baxter) fans, if you have not heard, The Baxter family is coming to TV. The new series focuses on the grown Baxter kids and their families and their ever-changing lives. THE BAXTER FAMILY CHRISTMAS revolves around a stranger John Baxter has invited for Christmas Eve dinner. Kendra Bryant, the transplant recipient who now has Erin’s heart. Some members of the family are not happy with this decision and cannot understand the reasoning for bringing this person into their lives, especially at Christmas time. An intimate time for families, not reminders of their grief. It has been two years since the terrible accident took the life of John Baxter’s daughter Erin, her husband, and three of their four daughters. The Baxter house in on ten acres, built by John and Elizabeth who died of cancer ten years ago, and the family house is now owned by Ashley and her husband Landon Blake. This is the place where the family still gathers for their celebrations and Christmas. John is remarried to Elaine, age 59 and they live in Bloomington. Ashley Baxter Black, age 35 (former black sheep of the family) and her brother Luke, age 33, a lawyer are against this plan. They are all about protecting their ten-year-old niece, Amy. She was the only survivor of the accident. John, age 60, the family patriarch of the Baxter family, and a doctor; on the other hand, feels they should open their hearts to this woman and her family. He thinks it would please his daughter. Kendra was given a second chance. She wants to connect with this family to bring purpose to her life. Maddie West, 18-year-old daughter, of Brooke Baxter West is also looking for a Christmas miracle. A boy she never expected to see again. Readers also get to revisit with the Flanigan family, which have been dear friends of the Baxters for years. Ashley and Landon decide they will leave the family home and spare Amy, for the night so their dad can bring in this woman who has Erin’s heart. Ashley thinks her dad is not being sensitive to Amy’s feelings. However, no one has asked Amy her innermost thoughts. Maybe she wants to meet this special woman who has been given the gift of life. Her mom’s heart. She must be someone special. Everyone seems to be tiptoeing about the other’s feelings instead of being honest. Her mom had left a piece of herself behind to help Kendra live. But that wasn’t all. She had left a piece of her heart inside Amy, as well. Her mom’s life was meant to make a difference, even in death. What starts as a snowy, drama-filled, stressful and uncertain time, turns into the most remarkable and memorable family Christmas! Christmas miracles abound connected by the love of a young girl. As always, Karen Kingsbury portrays a charming, heart-warming Christmas story in an idyllic wintry setting, of two families coming together following tragedy and grief, to celebrate their strong belief in God, family, and redemption. For those new fans or ones reading Karen's Baxter family for the first time, the author does an amazing job connecting everyone with a family tree of all the members and players, as well as an update of her own family.
On a personal note: My mom was a huge Karen Kingsbury fan and read each one of her books. (I even found her list after she died). She was looking forward to this title. As most of you are aware my mom passed away this August, after a three-year courageous fight with colon cancer. She will not be with us this Christmas for the first time; however, she lives on in each of us. This story is a special one, which my mom would have loved. This inspiring story, is for you, mom!
About the Author
#1 New York Times Bestselling novelist Karen Kingsbury writes Life-Changing Fiction™ and has been called America’s favorite inspirational author. There are more than 25 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including several million copies sold in the past year. Karen’s last dozen titles have topped national bestseller charts and many of her novels are under development as feature films and television movies.
In addition, Roma Downey and MGM Studios announced this year that they are developing 22 of Karen’s Baxter Family novels into a TV series. She lives in Tennessee with her husband Don and their five sons, three of whom are adopted from Haiti. Their actress daughter Kelsey lives nearby and is married to Christian recording artist Kyle Kupecky. The couple recently welcomed their first child, Hudson, making Karen and Don grandparents for the first time. Read More